LOCAL RESIDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF TOURISM IMPACTS AND THEIR SUPPORT FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF HANOI, VIETNAM
Tourism industry has an increase in not only developed countries but also developing countries. Many countries try to develop tourism industry because of their advantages. The most important element for the success and sustainability of any type of tourism development is that understanding local residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts and their attitudes toward tourism development (Pham Hong Long, 2012). There are many studies which give much attention to the development of tourism industry. They try to figure out the benefits and drawbacks of tourism industry. However, almost all studies have been carried out thoroughly in this topic of the developed countries like USA, France, and Australia and so on. In the developing countries, the government and also other studies just has little research has mentioned about this topic especially in Vietnam. They have not seen the importance of tourism. As a result, this study tries to investigate residents’ perceptions of tourism’s impact on community to contribute to the sustainable development.
There are many previous models developed by Gursoy and Rutherford (2004); C.Jurowski, Uysal, and Williams (1997); Perdue et al. (1990) to find out the advantages and disadvantages of tourism. All these models have used social exchange theory (Blau, 1986; Emerson, 1976; George Caspar Homans, 1961), they see that theory as its theoretical foundation to understand and evaluate residents’ perception of tourism impacts which are economic, socio-cultural, and environmental impacts as well as their support for the development of tourism in the future. Social exchange theory is the rooted in economic theory and modified by Thibaut and Kelly (1959) for the study of the social psychology of groups. This theory focuses on the perceptions of the relative costs and benefits of relationships and their implications for relationship satisfaction. As such, social exchange theory has provided a conceptual base for the examination of the inter-relationships among perceptions of costs and advantages, positive and negative impacts, and support for tourism (Choi & Murray, 2010; Jurowski & Gursoy, 2004; Nunkoo & Ramkissoon, 2010a, 2010b). There are two main hypotheses were tested regarding the socio-demographic characteristics of the residents’ and their perceptions of tourism impacts which include overall evaluations of tourism impact.
This research used the method which is based on a self-administered survey which is a type of questionnaire, and this survey has been sent to 18-years-old who live in Hanoi, Vietnam between July and August 2017. From 163 surveys, the result and analysis have shown that respondents have seen tourism positively and only showed a medium support for tourism development. As have been showed, people who live in Hanoi felt significantly interested in benefits and also drawbacks of tourism that contributes and affects economically and socio-culturally to Hanoi. However, they were not very interested and have not shown a clear opinion about environmental variables.
The result of this study has shown that social exchange theory is useful in explaining the perceptions of residents, and their attitude towards, tourism. This study also is expected to be useful to the government, the local planners and other students who feel interested in the attempt figuring out the way applying social exchange theory in finding the perception of residents toward tourism development.
|ANOVA||Analysis of variance|
|Df||Degree of freedom|
|SPSS||Statistical Package for the Social Sciences|
Terms and concepts upon their operational value are defined and described for the effectiveness of this study
Tourism impact: Positive or negative changes caused by the the interchange between tourists, host communities, and destinations (Mathieson & Wall, 1982).
Economic impact: Positive or negative changes resulting from the development and use of tourist facilities and services (Mathieson & Wall, 1982).
Socio-cultural impact: Positive or negative changes in the life, culture, traditions, beliefs, relationships of local residents in tourism destination areas (Mathieson & Wall, 1982).
Environmental impact: Positive or negative changes in the natural environment whether they be natural or human processes (Mathieson & Wall, 1982).
Costs/benefits: Tourism impacts can be analyzed in positive (benefits) and negative (costs) ways in terms of economic, socio/cultural and environmental aspect (Ap, 1992a).
Residents: Individuals living in the study area (Yoon, 1998).
Perceptions: Residents’ views, attitudes, and reactions of tourism impacts, and tourism development (Yoon, 1998).
From the day due to people would have a high demand go out of their house and take a trip, the government has realized that tourism is one of the most important industry to develop their economies. Not only in developed countries in the world but also many developing countries have realized this. The rural communities of some developing countries have many problem and high unemployment. With this development of tourism, people in the rural can have more job options and boost their local economies. To develop the economy in rural communities and solve the difficulties, they have adopted tourism as a new economic development strategy (Latkova, 2008). However, in some rural communities, the planners would not balance between the benefits and the drawbacks of tourism development. Therefore, many negative impacts of tourism like a large number of tourists, environmental pollution, and ruined legacy outweigh socio-cultural, economic and also environmental advantages. As a result, it is crucial to understand the opinions of residents regarding future developing before starting any tourism development program (Latkova, 2008).
Some previous studies about tourism development have demonstrated that it depends much on the goodwill, participation, and support of residents (Yoon, Gursoy, & Chen, 2001). Following the findings of Yoon, Gursoy, and Chen, they suggested that tourism should be developed base on the needs and desires of residents. The fundamental for the success and developing sustainability of tourism industry is that understanding the perceptions of local residents about tourism impacts and their attitudes (Allen, Long, Perdue, & Kieselbach, 1988; Lankford & Howard, 1994; Yoon et al., 2001). Many researchers have seen that fact and they have developed some models and suitable theory to examine the perceptions and the attitude of residents in developed countries especially in the USA, Europe, and the England. However, none of them try to examine in developing countries. There are just a few studies which have examined with some countries in Asia. Realizing this gap in research, this study tries to examine the perceptions and the attitude of residents regarding tourism impacts in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
Not only developed countries but also many developing countries usually face with an important question is “how to plan for optimal tourism development, while at the same time minimizing the impacts of its development on the resident population” (Pham, 2012). According Jackson (2008), one approach is to monitor the opinions of residents of perceived impacts as a means of incorporating local people’s reaction to tourism planning and development.
As mentioned above, there are many studies which have examined the perceptions and attitudes of residents of developed countries. However, “it is necessary to conduct other research about tourism development in some other geographical locations because, in different location, they will find it easy to identify and explore other elements which can prove social exchange theory and improve the models. However most studies directed at residents’ perceptions of tourism and community-based planning have been conducted in the west: Canada (e.g., Ritchie, 1993), the US (e.g., Ap & Crompton, 1993), the UK (e.g., Robson & Robson, 1996), or Australia (e.g., Brown & Giles, 1994). Community involvement effects social impacts within Asian countries is still an open point that has yet to be fully examined As a result, to contribute a little research and develop on residents’ perceptions of tourism impact, this study was researched in Hanoi, Vietnam
This study has two main objectives. Firstly, it is to test and examine the model of Pham Hong Long (2012) explaining the perception, the attitude and their support for tourism, also apply the theory social exchange theory.
Secondly, this study tries to understand some main factors like socio-demographic effect on the perceptions, evaluation and their support of residents of tourism impacts.
To understand and fulfill the purposes of this study, there are two primary questions are addressed:
- What is respondents’ opinions about economic impacts, socio-cultural impacts, and environmental impacts?
- What are the main factors which explain the perception of Hanoi residents, and their evaluations, and their support for tourism?
- What are the residents’ perceptions, evaluations, and support differences between eight socio-demographic characteristics?
- What is the relationship between socio-demographic variables and the perceptions, evaluation of residents, and their support for tourism development?
The findings of this study can contribute to finding solutions to develop tourism in Hanoi by giving some suggestions and recommendations to planners, local government, and developers. This study also combines and try to apply the new model and the social exchange theory and prove the importance of this theory in understanding the attitudes and the perceptions of residents. Besides, this study also contributes a literature for a future researcher who does studies which relate to tourism impacts and the support of residents in tourism development.
This study may not complete because of limited time for the deepest researching like interview residents, and also applied some models from other researchers in other countries may not have some difficulties for this place because of different residents, culture, and religions. However, this study tried to test the social exchange framework by concentrating on the perspectives of residents, their evaluations of tourism impacts, and their support.
This study is to take a sample of residents in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
There are three two assumptions in this study
- Residents perceive and their evaluate tourism impacts, and their support tourism development in the context of exchange, that is, in terms of the expected benefits or costs obtained from tourism (Ap, 1992b)
- Residents’ perceptions and evaluations are predictors of their support (Ap, 1992b)
The study includes five main parts starting with the introduction. This part shows the overall idea, research questions and explains how its relevance with this study. The second part is a review of the literature. This part will provide the context and the justification of this study and try to focus on the principal contributions, different methodological approaches to this topic. This part also gives some relevant literature and articles to answer the research question and contribute to have the right method and theory. The third part is methodology, this part presents the approaches and methodologies that have studied in Preparation for Graduating Project class. The next part consists of data collection, statistical analysis and a discussion of the findings. The last part will provide a conclusion, and also recommendations for future research.
As mentioned above, the purpose of this chapter is to further refine research questions and objectives of the study. This part also helps to discover recommendations for this study, avoid repeating work already undertaken and provide insights into strategies and techniques appropriate to this study’s objectives. To do that, this part provides the theoretical foundation by reviewing previous literature, models, and their frameworks. This literature review is presented with four main topics which are (1) tourism impacts, (2) variables influencing the perception and the attitudes of residents, (3) the theory and the model which is used in this study, and (4) hypotheses.
The term “tourism impact” has an increase using in the tourism studies. A large amount of literature has tried to examine host residents’ perception of the impact of tourism development on their community, it becomes more important when the tourism industry has seen one of the most important industry in most countries in the world.
Until recently, the development and promotion of the tourism industry have been widely accepted as a positive economic step, especially in less developed countries (Cooke, 1982). In general, tourism development leads to a great positive effect on residents’ perception and attitudes but also has the potential for negative, outcomes at the local level (Lankford & Howard, 1994). According to Liu and Var (1986), they said that usually economic benefits justify the tourism development, and social, cultural, or environmental destruction challenge the tourism development. Moreover, following Cooke (1982), social disruption are now measuring the economic benefits traditionally associated with tourism development. Liu and Var (1986) observed a strong perception among residents of increased employment, investments, and profitable local businesses. They also indicated the existence of negative effects like increase in the cost of living. Haralambopoulos and Pizam (1996) found strong support for the economic benefits of tourism which include improved tax revenue and personal income, improved standard of living and improved attitude toward work. However, there are some main negatives like an increase in the prices of goods and services.
The second effect is sociocultural. According to Dogan (1989), tourism development has a great effect on the socio-cultural characteristics of residents like habits, daily routines, social lives and beliefs, and values. They may lead to psychological tension. Firstly, there are many positives from tourism development. Brunt and Courtney (1999) mentioned that tourism can result in improved community services, additional park, recreation and cultural facilities and encouragement of cultural activities. Tourism also encourages cultural activities and improve cultural heritage (Gilbert & Clark 1997). However, this may lead to some negative like traditional family values ( Kousis, 1989); cultural commercialization ( Cohen, 1988); crime (Brunt & Courtney 1999; Tosun 2002); drugs (Haralambopoulos & Pizam 1996; Mok, Slater & Cheung 1991; Tosun 2002); degradation of morality (Mok et al. 1991); alcohol, openness of sex (King, Pizam & Milman 1991), increased prostitution (Cohen 1988; Lankford 1994; Mok et al 1991); crowding of public facilities and resources (Pizam & Courtney 1999; Lindberg & Johnson 1997); and declining resident hospitality (Lui & Var 1986).
There are some environmental effects of tourism on the place like air pollution which is from emissions from vehicles and airplanes; water pollution which leads to wastewater discharge; wildlife destruction which is a result of hunting, trapping, fishing; plants destruction and deforestation; over collection of specimens; forest fires; destruction of wetlands, soil and beaches (Andereck, 1995). Besides the negative side, environmental tourism impacts positively on the environment like having an increasingly positive elements such as the preservation of historical buildings and monuments, also improved community appearance (Perdue et al. 1990); and more recreation and park opportunities (Mc Cool & Martin 1994; Perdue et al. 1990).
In general, there are a great number of variables which are likely to influence the perceptions and attitudes of residents, and residents also hold many different opinions about tourism development and tourists (Mason & Cheyne, 2000).
As mentions in tourism impacts, the main variable may affect residents’ perceptions and attitudes are socio-economic and demographic characteristics like gender, age, income, job, and education. According to Miyakuni (2012), some other variables connected to certain characteristics or circumstances of residents are a personal economic dependency, community attachment, utilization of tourism resources, physical distance from tourism destination, and the community’s stage of tourism development. For instance, in 2000, Mason and Cheyne found women to be more opposed to tourism development than men because of increased traffic, noise and crime. However, following Harrill (2004), women might be more opposed to tourism due to traditional wage and occupation difference. They explained that feminism is more community-oriented, and emphasizes on sensitivity and concern for others. Other studies found that the older is more likely to agree with the positive impacts of tourism (McGehee & Andereck 2004; Ward & Berno 2011). In the opposite point, Cavus and Tanrisevdi (2003) found that older Turkish residents hold more negative perceptions of tourism industry than young people.
Income is one of the most important factors affecting on residents’ perceptions and attitudes toward tourism. It is viewed as positive in many studies. For example, one study found that respondents earning yearly incomes of $40,000-50,000 more than their usual earning is $20,000-30,000 in Central Florida (Milman and Pizam, 1988). In another study, it discovered that the higher the household income of people who did the surveys, they felt more positive and regarded more economic impacts, social impacts and tourism development (Haralambopoulos and Pizam, 1996).
Many studies found that people who have a tourism-related job had a more positive relationship with the positive tourism factors (Haralambopoulos & Pizam, 1996; Kuvan & Akan, 2005; Lankford, 1994). According to King et al. (1993), he found that people who derive personal benefits from tourism are less likely than other to report negative impacts. However, this is not true for every resident. There was a study showed that residents who benefit economically from tourism also reported tourism negative impacts (McGehee & Andereck 2004). This study was taken place in Arizona with twelve communities; residents who have more dependent on tourism were more likely to agree that tourism has negative impacts than who has less dependent on tourism.
Another important factor is education which has a great impact on residents’ attitudes. Residents who have more education are likely to be more positively they view tourism (Brayley, Var, & Sheldon, 1990; M.D. Smith & Krannich, 1998). According to Samos, Greece, Haralambopoulos, and Pizam (1996), they found that more educated persons view impact variables more positively than their less educated counterparts. In the opposite point, there is another study found that more educated residents resent tourism more than less educated residents (Ahmed 1986). Some other variables may influence residents’ perceptions of tourism impact are residents’ level of knowledge about tourism (Andereck, Valentine, Knopf, & Vogt, 2005), level of contact with tourists (Andereck et al., 2005), and also distance from the tourism zone (Harrill & Potts, 2003).
From the study of Butler (1974), he identified that there are five main factors which related to visitors. These factors were crucial in influencing the perception of residents. They were (1) number of visitors, (2) length of stay of visitors, (3) economic characteristics of visitors, (4) activities of the visitors, and (5) ethnic characteristics of visitors. He also mentioned five other main factors which related to the characteristics of the destination area. They were (1) economic state of the area, (2) spatial characteristics of tourism development, (3) degree of local involvement in tourism, (4) viability of the host culture, and (5) some other characteristics like political attitudes of the local population. “The identification of these factors indicated that perceptions of social and cultural impacts of tourism are likely to be complex and diverse” (John Ap and John L. Crompton). From other studies like Gursoy & Rutherford, 2004; C.Jurowski et al., 1997; Perdue et al., 1990 mentioned seven variables which were resident characteristics, resource use, ecocentric attitudes, personal benefits from tourism development, community attachment, residents’ economic gains, and community concerns. These variables determined the attitudes of the residents towards tourism development, and influence residents’ perceptions of socio-cultural, economy of the local, and environmental drawbacks and advantages, and also influence the dependent variable of support for tourism development. Otherwise, Kalsom Kayat (2000) also mentioned a link between residents’ overall evaluations of tourism impacts and tourism development, and Lee et al. (2007) showed that the influence of residents’ characteristics supported for tourism development. From those studies, it has shown that there is a relationship between residents’ characteristics, their perceptions of tourism impacts and their overall evaluations of tourism impacts (Andriotis (2004); Kuvan and Akan (2005), Lee et al. (2007). Some investigations have discovered the link between tourism’s impacts and the attitudes of residents toward tourism development by comparing residents across levels participation in recreation (Perdue, Long, and Allen, 1987), the time residents attach to the community (Um and Crompton, 1987), the knowledge about tourism (Davis, et al., 1988), socio-demographic characteristics (Ritchie, 1988), also political and economic position in society (Mansfeld, 1992), type and form of tourism (Ritchie, 1988), and finally economic advantages (Liu and Var, 1986, 1992a).
However, there are some variables like residents’ personal benefits from tourism, resource use, ecocentric attitude, economic gain, benefits for tourism taxes and community attachment are included in variables of socio-demographic characteristics. There is also another reason is that there is no tourism taxes is set in Hanoi or other cities in Vietnam. As a result, this study focuses on variables of socio-demographic which includes almost other variables.
In conclusion, there are many variables which may be used to predict residents’ perceptions and attitudes toward tourism and its impacts. However, this study only focused on socio-demographic characteristic variables to test the relationship between the socio-demographic characteristics of residents and their perceptions of tourism impacts, evaluations, and their support for the tourism industry.
According to Perdue, Long and Allen (1990), social exchange theory was briefly mentioned as being an appropriate framework for explaining residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts. They used this theory as a foundation to test the validity of the argument that the person who gains benefit from tourism will be likely to support tourism development. They also developed a model to examine the relationships among residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts, support for additional tourism development, restrictions on tourism development, and support for special tourism taxes (See Figure 1).
As shown in figure 1, the study of Perdue included four main hypotheses. The first thing is that this study showed that the characteristics of the resident were not related to positive perceptions of tourism impacts. Otherwise, resident characteristics were also unrelated to negative tourism impact perceptions. This variable was used as a mediating variable. Secondly, the support for tourism development of residents was positively or negatively related much on residents’ benefits from the tourism industry. Thirdly, it depended much on the perceived future perception of the community, and lastly, it related to restrictive tourism policies. The most important from this study is that Perdue’s study contributed to this topic some new variables which are support for the restriction, taxes, and the perceived future of the community. This study also showed that the attitudes and the perceptions of residents toward tourism were divided into two groups: residents who receive advantages and who not (Miyakuni, 2012). However, these perceived positive and negative impacts were not specified (Long, 2012).
From the study of Levi Strauss (1969), Blau (1964), and Emerson (1972), modern social exchange theory has developed. They have seen this theory is a sociological theory which gave the understanding of the exchange of resources between individuals and groups in an interaction situation. This theory shows that the interactions of individuals is selected after they evaluate the costs and benefits (Homans, 1961).
There are many studies on this topic has found that host communities are influenced by the perceived impact of tourism on three main variables: economic, environmental and social (Gunn, 1988; Gee, Mackens & Choy, 1989; Gursoy et al., 2002). According to Allen (1993), when residents perceive a positive benefits from the relationship between them and tourists and tourism activity, they had a more favorable attitude towards the development of tourism.
Another model has created in 1997 by C. Jurowski, he examined community support for tourism by using the social exchange model to five counties surrounding the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area which located in southwest Virginia. This study showed that resident attitudes were determined by their evaluations of the impacts of tourism, which was in turn influenced by their values.
As described by Ap (1992a), Social Exchange theory is “a general sociological theory concerned with understanding the exchange of resources between individuals and groups in an interaction situation”. Exchange theory showed that once individuals have judged the benefits and the costs of such an exchange, they will choose to engage in an exchange or not (Kathleen, Karin, Richard and Christine, 2005). Perceptions of the exchange can be a differential in that an individual who perceives a positive outcome and evaluate the exchange different with a person who perceives it negatively (Gursoy, Jurowski and Uysal 2002). Base on tourism perspective, Social Exchange theory showed that a person’s evaluation of resulting outcomes in the local or community will influence that person’s attitude toward this industry, and their support level for tourism development. People will evaluate an exchange based on the disadvantages and advantages incurred (Kathleen, Karin, Richard and Christine, 2005). A person who perceives more advantages from that exchange is likely to support and evaluate tourism positively. However, an individual who perceives more costs exceed benefits will evaluate it negatively (Figure 2)
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